By ANDY GOODELL
There’s a lot that area children can learn from theater.
Andy McGuire, originally of Boone, recently signed on as Youth Theatre Director at George Daily Community Auditorium.
McGuire, who majored in theater at Central College, has worked with young people in theater before coming to Oskaloosa. He said he served as a director with the Pella Shakespeare Youth Troupe as a sophomore at Central. He’s also worked with a few theatre companies in Chicago, as well as a touring theater group called Climb Theater, based out of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. He’s also interned in London, England.
Part of McGuire’s duties as youth theatre director at George Daily will be to serve as a liaison between the auditorium and area schools in Mahaska County. He said at past jobs he’s had, using theater as an educational tool has been important and that it is just as important in the local area.
McGuire said theater can be used to teach young children important lessons like anti-bullying skills and how to have respect for one another.
“It’s always important to remember with the push for reading and math and science in schools, we always want to keep pushing teamwork and creativity and those communication skills,” explained McGuire. “Without those, it becomes harder to be really good at math and science and such.”
In the summer months, McGuire will head up the Youth Theatre Camp at George Daily. He said there will be a few changes to the program, noting that the first goal is to give the children a great overall experience. Things like lighting and other technical aspects of theater will be part of the experience, as well as acting, he said.
McGuire noted that producing a play involves many different people with unique jobs including set design, lighting and other technical work.
“It uses as much team work and coordination as any sports team would need to get things done,” said McGuire.
In February of 2013, the Stage Academy after-school program is expected to return, McGuire said.
In the future, McGuire said he’d like to expand local youth theater beyond George Daily Community Auditorium. He said he’d like to bring shows and workshops into area schools, as well.
For more information about youth theater efforts at George Daily Community Auditorium, visit http://www.georgedaily.org.
An open house to welcome McGuire will be held Friday, Jan. 4, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the auditorium. It will be open to anyone who wants to meet McGuire.